Organic beauty: The sunscreen dilemma

I’ve got organic beauty sunscreen answers for you! In this article, we’ll delve into the controversies surrounding sunscreen, explore the ingredients that raise concerns, examine the world of clean and organic sunscreens, and take a closer look at the scientific research behind regular sunscreens.

The Controversy Surrounding Sunscreen in Organic Beauty

Sunscreen, the very product designed to shield our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, has become a topic of controversy in the organic beauty community.

Some argue that certain ingredients commonly found in traditional sunscreens can have adverse effects on our health and the environment. It’s important to address these concerns and understand why they hold weight in the world of organic beauty.

The Ingredients People Fear the Most in Sunscreens

Several ingredients frequently cause alarm bells to ring in the organic beauty community:


Oxybenzone, a chemical UV filter found in many conventional sunscreens. It’s believed to disrupt hormones and potentially harm coral reefs.

Oxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-3, is an active ingredient in sunscreens use to absorb and filter UV radiation. It helps to protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Oxybenzone prevents sunburn so it reduces your risk of skin cancer.

Oxybenzone can also be found in various other personal care products, yep! like those I’m certain you have: moisturizers, lip balms and all sort of cosmetics. It is often added to these products to provide some level of UV protection and to prevent the degradation of other active ingredients when exposed to sunlight.

Oxybenzone has been used in certain plastics, such as those used in outdoor furniture, clothing, and accessories, to provide UV resistance and prevent color fading or degradation caused by sun exposure.

However, it’s worth noting that oxybenzone is questionable due to its potential effects on human health + the environment. Some studies suggest that oxybenzone may be absorbed into the bloodstream and potentially disrupt hormone activity in the body.

Also, oxybenzone has been associated with coral bleaching and harmful effects on coral reefs when it enters marine ecosystems through wastewater runoff or direct contact with swimmers in areas with coral reefs.

Another ingredient that raises eyebrows is:


  • Octinoxate, which is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor. Octinoxate a.k.a ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, is used as an active ingredient in sunscreens and various other personal care products. Why? Because it protects you against UVB radiation!

Some studies suggest that octinoxate may disrupt the endocrine system, potentially interfering with hormonal balance in the body. Additionally, it has been found to accumulate in water bodies and pose risks to aquatic organisms and ecosystems.

Avobenzone and homosalate

These ingredients, along with others like avobenzone and homosalate, have sparked concerns about their impact on our skin and overall health. Avobenzone and homosalate are both chemical compounds commonly used as active ingredients in sunscreens and various other personal care products.

– Avobenzone, also known as butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, is used in sunscreens primarily for its ability to absorb UVA rays. It protects your skin from UVA radiation, including premature skin aging and increased risk of skin cancer.

– Homosalate, also known as homomenthyl salicylate, is used in sunscreens as an effective UVB filter. It helps to prevent sunburn and reduces skin damage caused by UVB radiation.

The safety of avobenzone and homosalate is a topic of ongoing discussion and research. In small doses and when used as directed, these ingredients are generally considered safe for use in sunscreen products.

Regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) have evaluated their safety profiles.

Need to hydrate your skin? Use this aloe vera DIY potion!

The Truth About Clean and Organic Beauty Sunscreens

Clean and organic sunscreens have emerged as alternatives for those seeking sun protection without the potentially harmful ingredients found in regular sunscreens.

Clean sunscreens are formulated without controversial chemicals, while organic sunscreens use natural and organic ingredients.

They often rely on mineral UV filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which work by physically blocking the sun’s rays rather than being absorbed by the skin.

– Zinc oxide is derived from the mineral zincite. It is mined and then undergoes a process to refine it into a fine powder suitable for cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. The resulting zinc oxide is a white, powdery substance.

– Titanium dioxide is sourced from the mineral ilmenite or rutile, which are naturally found in beach sands and igneous rocks. Similar to zinc oxide, titanium dioxide undergoes a refining process to produce a fine powder that is suitable for use in cosmetic and skincare formulations. It is also a white, powdery substance.

Both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be considered natural ingredients since they are derived from naturally occurring minerals. However, the refinement process they undergo may involve some degree of processing and purification.

Regarding organic certification, it’s important to note that while zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can be derived from natural sources, the certification of these minerals themselves as organic is not applicable.

Organic certification typically focuses on the cultivation and processing methods of agricultural products rather than minerals.

However, in the context of organic skincare products, these mineral-based ingredients can be used as part of the formulation, alongside other organic ingredients, to create a product that meets organic standards.

So, while zinc oxide and titanium dioxide may not be certified organic on their own, they can still be incorporated into organic skincare products as part of a larger organic formulation.

When it comes to effectiveness, clean and organic sunscreens can offer reliable protection when used properly. However, it’s crucial to choose products with adequate SPF levels and reapply them regularly, especially during prolonged sun exposure…you know this!!!

Comparing Clean/Organic Sunscreens and Regular Sunscreens

Clean and organic sunscreens differ from regular sunscreens in significant ways.

  • Regular sunscreens often contain chemical UV filters that penetrate the skin and absorb UV rays. On the other hand, clean and organic sunscreens utilize mineral UV filters that sit on the skin’s surface, reflecting and scattering the UV rays.

Usually mineral sunscreens leave you with that not-so-nice  white cast on the skin…but honestly nowadays there are options that don’t (I’ll write about options soon!).

Regular sunscreens may have a wider variety of textures and finishes, making them more appealing to some users. Ultimately, the choice between clean/organic and regular sunscreens depends on personal preferences and priorities.

Scientific Research on the Negative Impact of Regular Sunscreens

Some studies suggest that certain chemical UV filters, when absorbed by the skin, may disrupt hormonal balance and cause allergic reactions.

Additionally, concerns have been raised about the environmental impact of these chemical filters, particularly on coral reefs and marine ecosystems. While more research is needed, these findings underline the importance of considering alternatives.

Options for you!!!!!

These are some of the sunscreens I have used and still use. Sunscreen it’s a complicated matter…in any case I have used this and I like them!

FAQ: Organic Beauty Sunscreen

1. Can clean and organic sunscreens provide the same level of protection as regular sunscreens?

Absolutely! Clean and organic sunscreens can offer effective protection when used correctly. Look for products with appropriate SPF levels and don’t forget to re-apply regularly.

2. Are all regular sunscreens harmful to our health?

Not necessarily. While certain ingredients have raised concerns, it’s important to consider individual sensitivities and the overall exposure to these ingredients. Always read labels and choose reputable brands.

3.Do clean and organic sunscreens leave a white cast on the skin?

Mineral-based sunscreens can leave a slight white cast due to the nature of their ingredients. However, many brands have developed formulations that minimize or eliminate this issue, catering to different skin tones.

4.Is there a sunscreen that combines organic ingredients with a high SPF?

Yes, there are clean and organic sunscreens available with high SPF ratings. Look for products that use natural and organic ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, or plant-based antioxidants alongside mineral UV filters.

5.Can I rely solely on clean and organic sunscreens for sun protection?

While clean and organic sunscreens offer valuable protection, it’s important to remember other sun-safe practices like seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and limiting sun exposure during peak hours…you know your skin…

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Yirlene Mertens

I'll guide you through the maze of skincare options to help you halt the aging process and reclaim your glow.

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